- 7 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
Hey Ladies – My Fiance and I got engaged last July and purchased our first home together in September. When we bought the house and moved in we combined finances and bills, cell phones etc… It didn’t make sense to be paying each other pieces of bills etc, and we make almost exactly the same amount of money.
I’ve been trying to revamp our budget and I am totally stuck. I wanted to put this out there to see how other bee’s handle joint finances, and see if I could put any of those strategies to use, as well as help out anyone else who is about to combine finances.
A little background about our budget and spending histories:
FH – The way he manages his money is what i would say is more of a “non management” approach lol. He does not spend much, only gas, sometimes food with coworkers etc, very little in groceries, and ocassional trips to GNC to stock up on protein etc… His former bank account was treated as a savings account. He had thousands of dollars sitting in checking, and just paid his bills every month straight out of it. Since he never spent much money on other things, it just kept adding up and adding up and he never had a problem taking care of any unplanned bills. He uses his credit card only and pays it off at the end of each month.
ME – I’m definitely a typical girl when it comes to spending, I like to shop, I like to go out for happy hour, I like to buy nice things for the house etc (I am the ONLY one that buys the house stuff, drug store items, any necessities aside from groceries). Spending in general has ALWAYS been a struggle for me. I totally destroyed my credit when I was in my early 20s and it’s taken me the last 10 years to get to where I am today – debt free and a homeowner with a score in the 700s (go me haha). However I keep a very strict budget. I have to put money aside in savings or it will get spent, I lived with my mom a bit before meeting Fiance and was actually able to save a ton of money, etc… I track my bills on a spreadsheet, it helps me know which bills will have to be paid out of which paycheck, and how much spending money I have. However I have issues leaving anything behind and the checking account is pretty much empty each pay day which is stressful. I also get really stressed out if we carry ANY type of credit caard balance.
Because of my spending habits, and FI’s apparent inability to actually have a budget, I took over the finances and have been the one that budgets as well as pay the bills. He uses his credit card as he always has (really its a few hundred a month max). However, when you buy a house and combine finances its definitely an adjustment. But its an adjustment I still haven’t been able to sort through. One problem for me is that he doesn’ t use our debit card and doesn’t want to, I guess I need to budget in enough money out of each paycheck (we get paid every single friday because our paydays are both every two weeks and fall on opposite schedules). But I haven’t been doing that so far and every time his credit card comes due I have a panic attack because we don’ thave that extra money sitting in checking. We have money in savings which is where I usually take from if we need it. But since we used most of our savings to buy my ring and then for our down payment on the house its not as large as it once was!
I guess what I’m looking for are things like..
Do you budget on a monthly or weekly basis? Are you “ahead” of your bills, so you put the money aside from each check and then use that money to pay the next months, or do you pay the bill due out of the check you get that week? Do you have a cushion in checking or do you have everything extra in savings? How do you manage how much spending money the two of you have for things like decorating a brand new empty house, entertainment, etc..? And… do you freak if you have 300 bucks on a credit card etc? If we have ANY kind of balance I feel like I’m a bad person and “in debt”. Probably residual guilt from my previous poor decisions.
Thanks for all and any thoughts, advice and stories!